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LG polls: Abia PDP candidates to emerge through Option A4

By Boniface Okoro, Umuahia on 28/09/2016

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As Abians would, barring unforeseen circumstances, troop to the polls to elect their leaders at the local government level on December 17, 2016, the Abia State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has declared its readiness for the polls.

Their stand is coming on the heels of pleas by opposition parties in the state that the Council polls be shifted forward to allow them adequate time for preparations.
Announcing that Abia PDP has commenced preparations for the exercise, the state Chairman, Cheif Johnson Onuigbo, told newsmen in Umuahia, Tuesday, that the party would on Friday, October 14 and Tuesday,  October 18, 2016 organise primaries to choose their Councillorship and Chairmanship candidates respectively. Three ad-hoc delegates would also be elected in each of the 292 wards during the Councillorship primaries.
According to Onuigbo, the ad-hoc delegates would converge on their various local government headquarters during the October 18 primaries to elect chairmanship candidates. He said all the candidates would be elected through Option A4 as a way of testing the popularity of the aspirants.
The party, he said, has commenced sale of forms to interested aspirants, adding that forms for Chairmanship positions go for N500,000, while the Councillorship forms are sold for N100,000. Ad-hoc delegates would buy their forms for N5,000. However, for female aspirants, all the forms are free.
“We are ready for the local government elections. All things required for the poll have been put in place. Forms are ready and the aspirants are coming to buy. We are returning power to the people because they are going to be given the opportunity to elect those who will rule them,” Onuigbo said.
He added: “We are going to use Option A4 in our primaries to elect our candidates for the election. This is to allow the aspirants to test their popularity so that it will be a lesson for other political parties.
“We expect the election to be very competitive and that is why we are working very hard so that our party will win in all the 292 wards and the 17 chairmanship positions. We are not leaving any stone unturned in our preparations. We have started sensitising and mobilising the people at the grassroots.”
To make the emergence of candidates hitch-free, reduce rancour and acrimony, Onuigbo assured that the party would respect all zoning or power rotation arrangements of the various local governments and wards since the party’s constitution allows for zoning.
To those doubting the readiness and ability of the state government to fund the elections or those clamouring that such funds be deployed to clearing arrears of salaries owed workers, Onuigbo told them to give kudos to the governor for having the courage to return power to the people.
It would be recalled that at a recent stakeholders meeting where all the political parties participated, the Abia State Independent Electoral Commission (ABSIEC) laid bare its timetable and other plans for the polls.
Most of the opposition parties favoured a shift to allow them adequate time to prepare, arguing also that any run-off resulting from the exercise would clash with the Christmas festivities.
Countering their position during his briefing, Onuigbo urged the opposition to take bull by the horn and embrace the timetable as released by ABSIEC, stressing that no time would be enough for them even if the election date was shifted many times.

Source News Express

Posted 28/09/2016 9:51:14 PM

 

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